The Eightfold Path #6: Right Effort – Awakening Kanzeon

About a year ago I went into formal training with Jiun roshi, as I joined the Zen Center ‘Noorder Poort’. Then last April, I left that center and since then I’ve felt rather restless and not fitting in. The original plan was to undergo formal training for at least 18 months, maybe even up to two years. But life decided differently and I went on my way. Since then I’ve been looking deep into myself.

I tried to settle again, find myself a home, find myself a job, find myself some peace. The only home I’m finding is with myself. And I figure it is the only home worth finding anyway. That leaves the job, but there are not many jobs around. Especially not where I currently live, not at my level of knowledge and competence, nor at my level of not knowing and incompetence.

Since I am having a hard time finding myself a regular job, I today decided to do what I can do at the moment: formal training. All I need for that is my body and mind and determination. I have no teacher at hand, but I have a clock and a brain. I can set up a good training schedule and then just stick to it. Can’t I?

I already comprised a schedule for chanting, sitting, bows and meals throughout the day. Now all I have to add is daily cleaning in the morning and work practice in the afternoon. Weekly study one evening might do some good. And once in a while a day off. Say every 10 days or so. Let’s see if I can do that. Make the schedule and make it work for me. Pick up that rhythm, pick up that broom, love the blisters and the beans.

It will take me a lot of discipline to stick to the schedule I’ll set up for myself. Whithout a group around, whithout a Master disciplining me. Being my own Master and pupil in one.

But I still think it is for the best. It brings me right back to where I wanted to be: in formal training, on my way to becoming an Unsui. It is, as I perceive it, where I belong. It is what I wanted in the first place and where I fit in: live a simple life of growing awareness of self, other and how they are not two. I still have another year on my wishlist, so why not use it.

Let’s stop worrying and pondering and just do what is laid out right here for me. And let’s do the job full heartedly, honest and sincere. Let’s make it my right effort to awaken the Kanzeon in me.

Butsu do mu jo sei gan do
The Buddha way is unsurpassable, I vow to attain it.

BTW: If you’re ever in the vicinity of my Zendo and want to join in any part of the daily program, please, do not hesitate. You are more than welcome to participate. There’s no talking, no strings attached. Just you, me and our mutual practice.
Barbara 不真


About Jikai

Living a life of blessed less where my feet support my walk and my hands create my story. View all posts by Jikai

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